Posts Tagged ‘Dan Wetzel’


Time for our weekly check on the wild and the wacky, the sublime and the heartbreaking. In other words, time for some links.

* Renowned author Richard Ben Cramer died this week at the age of 62. Cramer is best known for the political book What It Takes, but he also famously wrote about Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and the Middle East. Many of his colleagues and friends wrote about their memories. Here’s Esquire’s Tom Junod on “What Do you think of Richard Ben Cramer Now?” Here’s Mike Sager, also in Esquire. On Bronx Banter, Alex Belth relates David Hirshey’s classic story of how Cramer managed to go around the editors to get his famous Williams piece published just the way he wanted. And finally, here is the original Williams story: What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?

* Fascinating story in New York Magazine about how Tide — regular old Tide detergent, not the one run by Nick Saban — has become a currency for people buying drugs. It’s a crazy story that focuses on the power of the Tide brand and also its new role in the drug trade (note: people don’t use Tide to make drugs; they use it like money).

* Dan Wetzel on the Mike Shanahan-Robert Griffin III situation.

* Jeff Pearlman interviews his former Sports Illustrated colleague Tom Verducci.

* In Grantland, Andy Greenwald writes about the return of the controversial Girls.

* You guys saw this crazy dunk out of Fresno State, right. Right?!

* The podcast of the week is a repeat winner: The BS Report. Why? Because host Bill Simmons had the nerve to touch on the alleged specifics of the Kevin Garnett-Carmelo Anthony scuffle. Even if they’re not true, they’re wildly entertaining.


Welcome to this week’s edition of The Tapes. There’s a chill in the air. Or it’s 75 degrees out where you are. Either way, it’s 12 days until Halloween. Be prepared. On to the links.

* Newsweek announced it will stop its print edition by the end of the year. It’s a shock in some ways but not surprising in many other ways. The magazine has been struggling for a long time. It will continue as a digital-only production. Here’s David Carr. Conversely, TVFury will become a print-only edition starting next month. Sign up for our newsletter or fax.

* TV geeks might enjoy this ongoing thread on sportsjournalists.com. The best single episode in TV history. One from The Sopranos? The Wire? Seinfeld? Mary Tyler Moore?

* I didn’t agree with parts of this Rafe Bartholomew Grantland story, but it was really interesting. Bartholomew was a childhood teammate of Smush Parker, who has been in the news recently because Kobe Bryant has taken lots of verbal shots at him, even though the two last played together six years ago.

* Dan Wetzel on John Calipari’s dream of having a 40-0 season.

* Wetzel again, this time on why it was wrong for Nike to ditch Lance Armstrong at this time.

* Grantland’s Zach Lowe looks at what Kevin Love’s injury will mean for the Timberwolves. Man, wish they hadn’t gotten rid of Darko now.

* Pretty informative (if not exactly literary) piece from Taxi breaking down Twitter stats. Among the findings: The average user is female, American, has an iPhone and boasts 208 followers. I feel like we should be able to use this information for good, but I’m not sure how.

* In other tech news, the BlackBerry is officially uncool. Frankly, I think we’ve known that for a couple years, but The New York Times makes it official. Still, I wish the iPhone handled email as well.

* And, finally, the prestigious podcast of the week award goes to … the CBSSports.com College Basketball Podcast. I checked it out for the first time the other day and came away impressed on several fronts: There are multiple personalities and therefore multiple viewpoints; those viewpoints come from folks who are certified hoops junkies (the kind that watch practices and follow the summer circuit); and there’s a general easiness. The humor seems genuine yet present and I didn’t sense anybody trying to do anything flashy in an attempt to create buzz. Seems like it might be worth adding to the rotation now that the hoops season is upon us. Check it out here.


Looks like the Lakers have a new center. We’ll have to see how this plays out – both in the coming days and season – but the most amusing thing to me when a deal like this happens is the reaction of Celtics fans, who seethe about the unfairness of the NBA and how they’re giving up on the league because the Lakers are the favored sons. Celtics fans complain about this. Celtics fans. Because the NBA was so fair in the 1960s – and if you don’t think Celtics fans still brag about those years, you’ve never been around a Celtics fans for more than 76 seconds – and the NBA had such diverse champions in the 1980s. And in 2008, that wasn’t the Celtics bringing together three Hall of Famers. No, that was Celtic Pride. That was grit and smarts.

On to the links:

* ESPN Magazine’s college football preview is out and there are some outstanding pieces in it. One of them is Wright Thompson on Urban Meyer. The other is former Fury Files guest Kevin Van Valkenburg on Honey Badger.

* Interesting story on a Reds PR person who had a bit of a meltdown on Twitter.

* Story for triathletes – or aspiring ones like Terry. The NYC one could be in jeopardy because of some, well, sewage in the Hudson.

* Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel on the Irish boxer who won gold.

* Fury and I need to stop reading the same stuff. It makes this segment harder (and weaker) than it’s supposed to be. Sigh.
How about this one? The New York Times reports it’s conceivable that all human life originated from Mars. It’s complicated and sciency, but worth the read. (Disclaimer: TVFury is not responsible for reader behavior, including, but not limited to, making and wearing aluminum-foil helmets.)

* And, finally, because it’s been at least a month since I trumpeted the virtues of living in the Dakotas … North Dakota and South Dakota are ranked among the top-10 places to live in 2032 by, well, some guy using certain criteria. Just move here, already. Or don’t. I’m not sure where I stand on that yet. Maybe we could start an application process.


So how about those Olympic badminton players, huh?

We’ve had Olympic fever this week at TVFury and next week we’ll have Terry reporting live from London, provided he’s able to sneak into the events without a pass or ticket. (Note: Not sure if Terry’s aware of this plan). On to the links.

* The U.S’s destruction of poor Nigeria in Olympic basketball Thursday had some people calling the Americans bullies (still waiting for someone to say the Dream Team would have won by 90). Adrian Wojnarowski has Coach K defending the team and himself.

* Here’s Dan Wetzel on that badminton scandal, which threatened to tear apart the badminton community. Somewhere, a shuttlecock weeps.

* Some jokesters hacked into the Facebook accounts of several Major League Baseball teams on Thursday night, with the inevitable dirty, occasionally funny results.

* And it’s official: Otters are an unstoppable menace in the state of Minnesota.

* Is there another Penn State-level sports scandal in the works, this time involving U.S. Swimming? That’s what one man is reporting via a web site in Baltimore. It’s an interesting piece because of the allegations and the general style of writing – there’s a sort of preachy introductory graph that you won’t find in traditional news outlets. And because it doesn’t seem to have gained much traction nationally yet. Stay tuned, I guess.

* As you may have heard, many prominent journalists keep a sort of personal blog that’s separate from their work. (Geniuses, those guys.) Jeff Pearlman is one of them, and this week he tackles the subject of young scribe disease in response to former New Yorker writer Johan Lehrer copping to making up quotes. It contains some good lessons for the kids.


Time to watch The Tapes, our weekly review of stories that are worth your time:

* The self-promotion department asked that we bring your attention to the piece that TV wrote about Tim Miles, small-town South Dakotan turned Big Ten basketball coach. We’re not sure if Big Red will turn things around or not, but it won’t lack for personality. Miles is as charasmatic as they get.

* The Jerry Sandusky trial began this week. And we already can’t wait for it to end. The details are brutal, especially when coming from the alleged victims on the stand. Yes, this is America and everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but we think that, if found guilty, Sandusky should be brought up on additional charges for making people relive the alleged crimes. Of course, no decent person would commit these sort of alleged crimes to begin with, so for us to ask that he act reasonably and fess up in order to prevent further pain and suffering is non-sensical.
If you can stomach the coverage, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! has been all over the trial.

* It was (another) depressing week in journalism, as three Southern papers announced debilitating cuts. A former New Orleans reporter gave her account on cut day based on what went on in the newsroom.
TV got a very, very small taste of this during his trip to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association awards weekend. He met a writer from Alabama. the reigning state sportswriter of the year. What’s his beat? He’s not sure anymore. The cuts caught everyone off guard in Birmingham. He traveled to North Carolina with his two children, and had no idea what to expect upon returning to work. This is the uncertainty facing even some of the finest in our field on a daily basis.

* NBA TV premiered an outstanding documentary about the 1992 Dream Team and you should definitely check it out if your cable provider has the channel. If they don’t, write a letter. Meanwhile, GQ had an oral history of the team. And next month, longtime SI writer Jack McCallum has a book coming out on the squad. My one quibble with one Dream Team member. Everyone knows Michael Jordan went to extremes to find motivation — witness his bizarre and uncomfortable Hall of Fame speech – but there’s a ridiculous statement in the documentary. Jordan says that as the Dream Team gathered, there were still many people saying, yeah, Jordan’s good, but he’ll never be Magic Johnson. No one was saying this in 1992. Magic had retired the year before and Jordan had just won two straight titles. People were already talking about him being the best ever. MJ used it as motivation as he battled Magic for alpha dog status, but I wanted my complaint noted.

* This piece is a few weeks old but I really enjoyed it and in light of the Rome-Stern conspiracy throwdown, worth a link. Patrick Hruby goes inside the world of sports conspiracy theorists. From the 1985 NBA Lottery to Game 6 of the 2002 to Super Bowl III.